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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
WEEK 5
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday night
On Bye
CIN, MIN
Monday
OAK, PHI
*updated

Prediction: NYJ 17, NYG 24

Just when it seemed the Jets were turning around they dropped their game in Buffalo last week and are just 1-3 on the season. The Giants started out on a bad note this year, lost some players and now have two solid wins over divisional rivals with a defense that has reappeared. The best part of this game is that both sides will be at home.

Update: Chad Pennington has been limited in practice to take it easy on his ankle but is expected to play. Brandon Jacobs has practiced fully all this week and is expected to return. Derrick Ward has been limited in practice due to his sprained ankle but is expected to play. I am projecting for a split between Derrick Ward and Brandon Jacobs and it will be interesting to see what that actually is since Jacobs was the full-time starter before his injury but Ward has ran too well in his absence to merely return to the bench. It finally looks safe to start Jacobs again, but he won't likely get the workload he started the season with.

Plaxico Burress has been held out of practice as he has been recently but is expected to play. He has elected to rest all week and then play on Sunday.

New York Jets (1-3)
Homefield: Giants Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 NE 14-38 +6.5 40.5
2 @BAL 13-20 +9.5 33
3 MIA 31-28 +3 35.5
4 @BUF 14-17 -3 37.5
5 @NYG   +3 41.5
6 PHI 14-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
7 @CIN 21-Oct SUN 4:05 PM
8 BUF 28-Oct SUN 4:05 PM
9 WAS 4-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
10 BYE - - -
11 PIT 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 @DAL 22-Nov THU 4:15 PM
13 @MIA 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 CLE 9-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
15 @NE 16-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
16 @TEN 23-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
17 KC 30-Dec SUN 8:15 PM
NYJ at NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Chad Pennington     200,2
RB Thomas Jones 60 10  
RB Leon Washington 20 20  
TE Chris Baker   30,1  
WR Laveranues Coles   60,1  
WR Jerricho Cotchery   70  
WR Justin McCareins   10  
PK Mike Nugent 1 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: Just when the Jets had finally found their running game and scored more than 14 points in a game, everything bad returned last Sunday during the loss to the Jets. Now even the three point win over the visiting 0-4 Dolphins doesn't look all that impressive. The running game has gone back into hiding and the passing game can't find the endzone once again.

Quarterback: Chad Pennington had a season high 290 yards last week against the Bills but only one score and two interceptions. The offense shrank back down to just Coles and Cotchery while the defense remains not quite good enough. Pennington has thrown for scores in every game so far and his interceptions last Sunday were his first of the year. He even completed 32 of 39 passes but the offense is only able to get close before the lack of a rushing game spells doom in the red zone.

Running Backs: After turning in 110 yards against the Dolphins, it was expected that facing the weak Bills defense last week would let Thomas Jones continue to improve. Not so. He only had 12 carries in the game and gained only 35 yards while Leon Washington took the lone rushing touchdown. Jones has yet to score this year and even with his big game in week three is only averaging 19 carries per game for 64 yards - just barely over three yards per attempt.

The Jets opted to use Washington much more last week since they were usually in passing situations and he had a career high eight catches for 38 yards. Just another sign that Jones is not going to be the every down player in the backfield this year, particularly not when the Jets fall behind and need to throw to catch up. Washington did not have a catch in the two previous games though, so his use is also inconsistent.

Wide Receivers: At least the lack of offensive punch does not extend to the only two fantasy relevant players on this team. Laveranues Coles has scored in three of the four games this year even though he has yet to turn in more than 65 yards in any game. Jerricho Cotchery fares better with yardage and already has two games over 100 yards but has yet to score. Justin McCareins was spoken of highly in the preseason but has yet to catch more than one pass in a game so far. Coles and Cotchery are the Jets offense.

Tight Ends: After catching a touchdown for two consecutive weeks, Chris Baker failed to score against the Bills. He never has more than 20 or 30 yards in any game so his fantasy value relies purely on inconsistent touchdowns.

Match Against the Defense: The Giants have been evolving as a defense over the past month and had been solid against the run until Buckhalter last week. There is a chance that Jones could score against a defense that has already allowed four rushing scores but likely not since the Giants should get the lead and make the Jets throw. Expect only moderate rushing yardage here at best.

Pennington faces a secondary that was terrible to start the year and that has improved every week. They have only allowed one touchdown over the last two weeks and an average of just 164 passing yards. A good bit better than the 345 yards that Romo torched them with to open the year. The corners remain the weaker link here though, so expect at least decent numbers here from Coles and Cotchery with probably two passing scores. Baker has a great shot at scoring again since the Giants have allowed half the passing touchdowns to end up with tight ends this year.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYJ 12 29 9 17 30 28
Preventing Fantasy Points NYG 29 25 12 32 6 10

 

New York Giants (2-2)
Homefield: Giants Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @DAL 35-45 +5.5 44
2 GB 13-35 -2.5 38.5
3 @WAS 24-17 +3.5 40.5
4 PHI 16-3 +2.5 47
5 NYJ   -3 41.5
6 @ATL 15-Oct MON 8:30 PM
7 SF 21-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
8 @MIA 28-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
9 BYE - - -
10 DAL 11-Nov SUN 4:15 PM
11 @DET 18-Nov SUN 4:15 PM
12 MIN 25-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
13 @CHI 2-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
14 @PHI 9-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
15 WAS 16-Dec SUN 8:15 PM
16 @BUF 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 NE 29-Dec SAT 8:15 PM
NYG vs NYJ Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning     220,2
RB Derrick Ward 50 30  
RB Brandon Jacobs 50,1    
RB Reuben Droughns 1, 1
TE Jeremy Shockey   70,1  
WR Plaxico Burress   50,1  
WR Amani Toomer   40  
WR Sinorice Moss   10  
PK Lawrence Tynes 1 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: After a slow start to the season, the Giants were looking like a lost cause but two quick wins over divisional rivals of the Redskins and Eagles have righted the ship and the defense has improved every week. Burress has agreed to be injured, never practice and then score on Sunday and Brandon Jacobs should return as soon as this week. Things are looking up and the schedule is very soft for the next four games.

One alert here - the Giants are trying out new kickers this week so watch what happens if you plan on using Lawrence Tynes.

Quarterback: Eli Manning continues to play with his slightly separated shoulder that is almost entirely healed and he has scored in every game this year. But that's only been once per week for the last three games and he only managed to produce 135 passing yards against the Eagles after always remaining over 220 yards in other games. He's going to throw one interception each week, he's probably going to just get sacked once and he will not run. Manning is not making a positive difference for the Giants lately but he is not hurting them either.

Running Backs: Derrick Ward was a gametime decision last week because of his sprained ankle but he played and gained 80 yards on 19 carries just as he would have in any other game. Ward has remained between 80 and 97 rushing yards every week with around 25 yards on receptions. He failing is that he only has one score and that came on a pass in week one.

Brandon Jacobs was considered for playing time last week but was held out of the game. He could return this week but if he does, he'll be sharing with Ward which may end up the standard for every week. Ward has ran very well in relief of Jacobs and has earned playing time. And since Jacobs is better at scoring and probably should not be over-used, the duo actually complement each other.

I am projecting for just Ward but will update if it appears likely that Jacobs will play this week.

Wide Receivers: Plaxico Burress will just continue to play on his bad ankle and he re-aggravated it a bit last week. But he scored in his fourth straight game of the year even though he only had four catches for 24 yards against the Eagles. Amani Toomer is better this year but that only extends to possession catches for around 50 yards per week. He has not scored in 2007 and is not even looked at near the goal line. The Giants have all but given up on using other wideouts in a game for more than just one catch.

Tight Ends: Jeremy Shockey comes off a terrible outing against the Eagles with only one catch for 17 yards but he had been catching five passes per week for around 60 yards in the first three games. He still has yet to catch a touchdown though he has dropped one or two so far.

Match Against the Defense: The weak link for the Jets is their rushing defense that has given up four scores this year and allowed most teams to top 100 rushing yards or more. Look for a good effort here by the Giants using either Ward and/or Jacobs this week that should net good yardage and at least one touchdown. If Jacobs does not play, then Droughns probably trots in for the score.

Manning always throws at least one score and the Jets always allow at least that much. I like Manning to throw for two scores here, one the obligatory shot to Burress but another for Shockey's first score of the year. He should benefit from nice match-ups against linebackers and turn in solid yardage this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 13 15 10 15 16 12
Preventing Fantasy Points NYJ 24 30 16 28 17 16

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